Interpretation of Forrest Gump

12 December 2016

In this character analysis paper the character of Jenny Curran from the award winning movie Forrest Gump will be the subject of discussion. This paper will present an analysis of the Jenny’s personality as it is applicable to Psychodynamic theory. The paper will present my rationale for the choice to use the Psychodynamic theory to describe Jenny Curran’s personality. In addition, this paper will present a description of the psychodynamic theory utilizing the work of Sigmund Freud regarding personality development.

The paper will contain a description of Jenny Curran, as well as, an analysis of her personality utilizing Psychodynamic theory focusing on structure, process, growth, development, and change. This analysis will indentify psychopathologies, which developed as a result of the Jenny’s life experiences. Furthermore, there will be a description of other variables by the writer, which indentify internal and external factors that contributed to the development of Jenny Curran’s personality. Sigmund Freud developed an over-all view of personality in which behavior is a result of struggles among drives and needs that inevitably conflict (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver, 2005 p. 74).

Interpretation of Forrest Gump Essay Example

The psychoanalytic theory view is that personality is developed gradually as the individual move through different psychosexual stages: oral, anal, and phallic. Sigmund Freud also theorized that a person operates from three states of being: the id, the superego, and the ego. “The Psychoanalytic theory places enormous emphasis on the role of early life events for later personality development (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver, 2005 p. 12). ” Jenny developed fixation in the oral and the anal stages of her psychosexual stage. She acts out in behavior characteristic of those stages to reduce the tension, she was experiencing in her life. Jenny experiences conflict between the id and the ego and she receive punishment from the superego. “The psychoanalytic theory of anxiety states that at some point the person experiences a trauma, an incident of harm or injury (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver 2005 p93). ” We develop ways to distort reality and exclude feelings from awareness so that we do not feel anxious (Cervone, Pervin,

Oliver 2005 p93). ” Jenny from early childhood developed defensive mechanism to protect herself from the pain she had experienced and was experiencing. “Anxiety represents a repetition of the early traumatic experience; Anxiety in the present is related to an earlier danger (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver 2005 p93). ” Freud suggested in his psychoanalytic theory that anxiety result from conflict between the drive of the id instincts and the threat of punishment by the superego (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver 2005 p93). The Psychoanalytic theory places enormous emphasis on the role of early life events for later personality development (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver, 2005 p. 112). ” Jenny developed fixation in the oral and anal stages of her psychosexual stage. Jenny’s fixation in the oral stage manifested in substance abuse issues. Jenny’s fixation in the anal stage manifested in defiant personality and an inability to relate to authority. Jenny was able to work through the fixation she developed in her psychosexual stages. She no longer needed to act out in behavior characteristic of those stages.

Jenny was able to resolve the conflict between the id and the ego and she no longer received punishment from the superego that made behavior unhealthy. Jenny developed into a responsible mother and raised little Forrest, and acceptance of her terminal health issues. Jenny was able to make amends and accept responsibility for wrongs and build a relationship and marriage with Forrest until her death Psychodynamic theory is a form of psychology that has focus on the unconscious thoughts and feeling as causing one’s conscious behaviors and experiences.

The id is the energy drive, as well as a childlike structure that makes demands for immediate gratification (Pervin, Cervone, & Oliver, 2005)”. The superego is the moral side that seeks perfection and is the source of a person’s internal retribution such as feeling guilty, humiliated, or inferior. The superego has been called the conscience according to Frank (1999), and the ‘self-evaluating’ component of the personality. The ego is the reality seeker that mediates between the id and the superego with logic and a sense of normalcy (Pevin, Cervone, & Oliver, 2005).

According to Pervin, Cervone, & Oliver (2005), the ego is never static but always changing and is the expresser of “perpetual and cognitive skills”. The rationale for choosing the Psychodynamic theory to analyze the character of Jenny from the movie Forrest Grump is: “The Psychoanalytic theory places enormous emphasis on the role of early life events for later personality development (Cervone, Pervin, Oliver, 2005 p. 112). ” Psychosocial development theorizes that each person must go through a series of stages in sequence with the potential to develop new capabilities in each successive stage (Erikson, 1980).

The character Jenny experienced significant amount of trauma during her early childhood. These traumatic experiences shape Jenny’s future personality and behavior. Sigmund Freud’s theories present the best illustrates how Jenny’s personality was shape. Moreover, Freud’s application of his theories utilizing the three state of being: the id, superego, and ego masterfully describe the drive behind Jenny’s behaviors and experiences. In addition, Freud’s psychosexual stages identify stagnations in Jenny’s development from inability to resolve conflict during specific psychosexual stages: oral, anal, phallic.

Psychodynamic theory illuminates areas of conflict that result Jenny’s inability to function and deal with the anxiety and conflict produce from her traumatic experiences. The character of Jenny Curran from the movie Forrest Gump is the focus of this personality analysis paper. Jenny Curran was born on July 16, 1945 and raised in a struggling small farming community in Alabama. Jenny had two sisters that were talked about by Forrest Gump; however, the girls were never seen during the move. Jenny’s mother’s died when she was five years old, which left Jenny and her sisters to be raised by her father.

Jenny and her sisters during that period of time became victims of sexual abuse and physical abuse. Jenny’s father had a serve drinking problem and was a pedophile and violent individual. Jenny was remove from her father’s home by the police and was separated from her sisters. She was placed in the home with her grandmother who she live with of and on during the movie. Jenny’s relationship with her grandmother was depicted during the movie. During this period of her life Jenny was a very troubled little girl and Jenny’s only safety came from her friendship with Forrest.

Jenny was unsuccessful at many of the goals she set for herself in the film she drifted from abusive relationship to another. She struggle with the morays and taboos of that era manifesting in behaviors that resulted in her being expelled from college for posing nude in her college sweater. In addition she worked in a strip club and sang folk music in the nude. Jenny struggled with anxiety and the development of in effective defense mechanism that did more damage to her persona then protecting. Jenny eventually got involved in drugs and alcohol.

Moreover, at one point it appeared that she was possibly involved prostitutions. However, it was not clarified in the movie but it appeared that she was robbing a customer who was passed out. Jenny contemplated suicide several times during the film. At one point when she was with Forrest in Washington D. C. and another time she was seen standing on the ledge in a pent house or luxury hotel. Jenny clearly displays issues which the five major components of psychodynamic theory can be applied. In conclusion, the character of Jenny Curran from the award winning movie Forrest Gump was the subject of discussion.

The paper presented an analysis of the Jenny’s personality as it is applicable to Psychodynamic theory. The paper presented the writer’s rationale for his choice to use the Psychodynamic theory to describe Jenny Curran’s personality. In addition, the paper presented a description of the psychodynamic theory utilizing the work of Sigmund Freud regarding personality development. The analysis additionally indentified psychopathologies, which developed as a result of the Jenny’s life experiences.

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